July 25, 2021

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Several out of 19 US bases had nothing to do with situation in Afghanistan — Russian envoy

MOSCOW, July 22./TASS/. During its military presence in Afghanistan, the US deployed strategic bases that had nothing to do with the situation in the country, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said in an interview with Echo of Moscow radio, an extract from which was posted on the Echo of Moscow’s website on Thursday.

Kabulov said ‘yes’ when asked whether Moscow was happy about the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan, emphasizing, however, that one must bear in mind all well-known reservations “already made by the president and by the foreign minister”. 

“In what sense? If you remember, 20 years ago when they [the Americans] came, everything was starting somehow serenely,” said Kabulov, who is also Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department. “But then they acquired the taste,” “they began to deploy bases, of a strategic purpose, I would say,” Kabulov added. “Out of 19 bases that we know of, around seven or eight had nothing to do with Afghanistan and the situation there,” he went on to say.

He also stressed that the US had no strategy in Afghanistan. “They have an aim. But they have no strategy which would lead correctly to the aim. They were starting things reactively there back then, when America was the main and most important [power] in the world. And they believed that any, even erroneous thing – it could always be repaired. Yes, somebody will be affected, but so it goes. Collateral damage, so to say. That is why, they have no strategy,” Kabulov added.

As for the Pentagon’s plans to leave 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, Kabulov said that this figure “is of no crucial significance” and “the war is lost in the sense it was waged in.” “If we give the figures, as far as I know, plans are to leave about 1,000 marines, 650 of whom will be protecting the embassy, besides inside the embassy compound. And 350 together with the Turks have decided to take control over the Kabul airport to make it easier for the remnants to flee,” he summed up.

On April 14, US President Joe Biden announced his decision to end the operation in Afghanistan, which became the longest overseas military campaign in American history. Against this background, the deterioration of the security situation has been seen due to the fact that the Taliban group (outlawed in Russia) is stepping up the pace of its offensive on a number of fronts. According to the Taliban, they have been able to gain control of about 85% of the republic’s territory, including areas located along the border with Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

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